BBC boosts bookshop sales by "almost £500,000"

BBC boosts bookshop sales by "almost £500,000"

The BBC's "Faulks on Fiction" and "My Life in Books" series have boosted book sales by almost £500,000, Nielsen BookScan data indicates.

Sales of the books featured in Sebastian Faulks' four-part series on "the brilliance of the British novel and its characters", have jumped by 55% since the beginning of February—leading to approximately 26,000 (£170,000) extra sales through UK bookshop tills. In addition, the official tie-in to the TV series, published by BBC Books, has sold 6,600 copies, taking £100,000.

Sales of the books recommended by celebrities on Anne Robinson's "My Life in Books" series, meanwhile, have jumped by 20% over the past four weeks, to 153,000 copies sold—an extra 26,000 copies in volume terms, or £210,000 by value.

The books featured in Faulks' "The Hero" episode of "Faulks on Fiction" enjoyed the biggest proportional sales boosts—by 170% on average—which included big uplifts for the likes of Kinglsey Amis' Lucky Jim (up 440%), and Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (up 330%). Other books to see their sales dramatically rise include Zoë Heller's Notes on a Scandal (up 335%) and, in volume terms, George Orwell's 1984 (up 2,300 copies) and D H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (2,400 copies).

David Nicholls' One Day, Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance, Kate Summerscale's The Queen of Whale Cay and H A Guerber's The Myths of Ancient Rome were among the biggest beneficiaries of celebrity recommendations on "My Life in Books", with both Nicholls and Mistry benefiting from additional World Book Night sales boosts in 2011.

Radio presenter Richard Bacon's recommendations proved the most popular with the buying public, who have snapped up an extra 12,400 copies of his recommendations in the past month. Broadcaster Peter Snow's nominees received the biggest proportional sales boosts—up by 330% month-on-month thanks to big boosts for the likes of Janet Evanovich's One for the Money (+650%) and Mark Urban's Rifles (+530%).

Faulks on Fiction: Sales Boost by Percentage
1) Lucky Jim +440%
2) Notes on a Scandal +335%
3) Tom Jones +325%

Faulks on Fiction: Sales Boost by Volume
1) Lady Chatterley's Lover +2,400
2) 1984 +2,300
3) Lucky Jim +2,200

Faulks on Fiction: Programme Breakdown (extra sales)
1) Lover +8,000
2) Hero +6,900
3) Snob +6,800
4) Villain +4,700

My Life in Books: Sales Boost by Percentage
1) The Queen of Whale Cay (recommended by Sue Perkins) +15,200%
2) The Myths of Greece and Rome (Clare Balding) +4,300%
3) Tragedy at Law (P D James) +3,600%

My Life in Books: Sales Boost by Volume
1) One Day (Richard Bacon) +11,000
2) A Fine Balance (Hardeep Singh Kohli) +4,400
3) The Art of Racing in the Rain (Clare Balding) +1,500

My Life in Books: Top Celebrities (Sales Boost by Percentage)
1) Peter Snow +330%
2) Duchess of Devonshire +190%
3) Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen +165%

My Life in Books: Top Celebrities (Sales Boost by Volume)
1) Richard Bacon +12,400 sales boost for recommended books
2) Hardeep Singh Kohli +5,000
3) Elizabeth McGovern +2,300